The Sportsman's Cyclopaedia: Comprising a Complete Elucidation of the Science and Practice of Hunting, Shooting, Coursing, Racing, Fishing, Hawking, Cockfighting, and Other Sports and Pastimes of Great Britain, Interspersed with Entertaining and Illustrative Anecdotes

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Henry G. Bohn, 1848 - Hunting - 940 pages

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This book includes a description of bull baiting and bull dogs that were used for bull baiting. It is interesting to note that the author, writing in the 19th century, brings up some of the same issues relating to these bull baiting dogs that are now being discussed about their descendants, the pit bull breeds.
Johnson describes how these dogs were bred by a relatively closed sub-culture of coal miners, and when coal miners left an area, so did the "sport" of bull baiting and the bull dogs themselves.
The author notes that these dogs differ in temperament from all other dog breeds and relates an example of a bull dog turning viciously on its owner for no immediate reason.
Johnson also notes that bull dogs have a vicious and tenacious attack style that is very particular to the breed.
He notes that, in his time, the bull dog was becoming rare and would soon become extinct which he judged a good thing because these dogs were suited for no other job than that for which they had been bred.
He explains that they are useless for household protection because they launch silent attacks instead of sounding an alarm, and notes the silent attack style would be disastrous if they were to launch an attack on a child. He also mentions that when not attacking bulls, bull dogs tend to be lazy, and may not even wake to save a family from murderous intruders.
This is a big difference between the ancestor bull dog and the bull and terrier mixes that became pit bulls. With the infusion of the terrier temperament - often described as lively, bossy, feisty, scrappy, clever, independent, stubborn, persistent, impulsive, and intense, pit bulls lost the laid back, almost lazy, temperament away from the bulls.

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Page 380 - Nor scathe had he, nor harm nor dread, But, the same couch beneath, Lay a gaunt wolf, all torn and dead, Tremendous still in death. Ah, what was then Llewelyn's pain ! For now the truth was clear : His gallant hound the wolf had slain To save Llewelyn's heir.
Page 425 - Though duly from my hand he took His pittance every night, He did it with a jealous look, And, when he could, would bite. His diet was of wheaten bread, And milk, and oats, and straw ; Thistles, or lettuces instead, With sand to scour his maw. On twigs of hawthorn he regaled, On pippins...
Page 196 - When the weather will not permit of exercise in the dry, put on a soft bit with players, for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon...
Page 538 - Who taught the nations of the field and wood To shun their poison, and to choose their food ? Prescient, the tides or tempests to withstand, Build on the wave, or arch beneath the sand?
Page 499 - In naming or entering for any race where there shall be any particular conditions required as a qualification to start, it shall be sufficient if the horse were qualified at the expiration of the time allowed for naming or entering, and he shall not be disqualified by anything which may happen after the expiration of that time, unless so specified in the article...
Page 422 - No creature could be more grateful than my patient after his recovery ; a sentiment which he most significantly expressed by licking my hand, first the back...
Page 425 - A Turkey carpet was his lawn, Whereon he loved to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn, And swing his rump around. His frisking was at evening hours, For then he lost his fear, But most before approaching showers, Or when a storm drew near. Eight years and five round rolling moons He thus saw steal away, Dozing out all his idle noons, And every night at play. I kept him for his humour's sake, For he would oft beguile My heart of thoughts that made it ache, And force me to a smile.
Page 310 - First let the kennel be the huntsman's care, Upon some little eminence erect, And fronting to the ruddy dawn ; its courts On either hand wide opening to receive The Sun's all-cheering beams, when mild he shines, And gilds the mountain tops.
Page 495 - Calendar by a name and his pedigree, it will be sufficient afterwards to mention him by his name only, even though he has never started. If the dam was covered by more than one stallion, the names of all of them must be mentioned.
Page 423 - Bess had a courage and confidence that made him tame from the beginning. I always admitted them into the parlour after supper, when, the carpet affording their feet a firm hold, they would frisk, and bound, and play a thousand gambols, in which Bess, being remarkably strong and fearless, was always superior to the rest, and proved himself the Vestris of the party.

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